Firefighters add telehandler to fleet
By Chad Elmore06 September 2022
Case IH Farmlift adopted by German fire department
After about 12 months of practical testing, the district fire association of Düren, Germany, has added a Case IH Farmlift 742 to support its emergency services. The machine has arrived at the central fire station of the district of Düren. From there, it will be used by the 15 municipal fire departments and over 2500 firefighters as a special vehicle on their 4000-plus firefighting operations every year.
“We bought a telehandler for two key reasons; the first is that the fire department has to deal with more and more logistics operations these days, and the second is that we were looking for a flexible, fast solution to recover damaged electric vehicles in the event of an emergency – sometimes in a designated extinguishing container,” said Karlheinz Eismar, Düren District Fire Chief. “We had no previous experience with a telehandler, so we set about creating a requirements brief and trialled a number of possible applications as part of a practical test.”
Case IH said the department soon discovered that the range of applications is more diverse than they initially expected.
Eismar said one of the main uses is the various logistics operations which are becoming increasingly common for fire departments. “In recent months, we have had to set up vaccination centers and transport materials for relief supplies.”
“Increasingly, however, the Farmlift is also being used as a manoeuvrable clearing and recovery machine, during or after firefighting operations – for example, disassembling still burning bale stacks or uncovering glow nests to extinguish.”
During the region’s flood disaster in the summer of 2021, the Farmlift was used to transport sandbags and BigBags to quickly construct makeshift dams. “Its off-road capability and all-wheel steering were clear advantages here,” he said.
Down to business
“We do have a flat-bed for transport, but the Farmlift goes straight to where we need it. For this purpose, it was equipped with its own siren, radio, and all-round blue lights. It also has brackets to carry breathing apparatus. This provides improved protection for the driver against dangerous smoke inhalation in the cab during firefighting operations,” said Eismar.
The Düren fire department’s Farmlift has a load capacity of 4.2 tonnes and a lifting height of 7 m. It is equipped with a joystick with proportional control and an easy-to-use reversible lever. It has 4WD, front wheel drive and crab steering. It also has an intelligent tilt protection system that keeps the implement parallel to the ground. The LED light package provides all-around lighting during use.
As the Farmlift is operated by various emergency services, the intuitive operation via joystick and excellent all-round visibility are particularly welcome, said Case IH. “Our overall conclusion is that this class of machine certainly belongs in fire departments – for us, it’s a multi-tool for a wide range of applications and uses,” said Eismar.
“We are currently seeing increased demand for Case IH Farmlift models from fire departments and other rescue and disaster management organisations – and not just because of the standard red paintwork,” said Philipp Pamme, product manager for Telehandlers at Case IH EMEA, based in St. Valentin, Austria. “Its compact design, multifunctional equipment and modular tools mean the Farmlift is ideal for clearing work after firefighting operations as well as for a wide variety of disaster management logistics tasks.”